You already know that Mark and I are Disney fanatics, we tried to give up the annual pass when COVID changed everything, but we couldn’t stay away for long. When we renewed our passes a few months ago, we decided to continue our tradition of spending our birthdays at Disney like we have each year since moving to Florida in 2015. While planning a big Disney celebration for Mark’s upcoming milestone birthday in November, at the last minute we decided to splurge and booked flights for an amazing adventure instead (to be announced), and in turn, he surprised me with a 3 day Disney weekend for my birthday this year.
We booked two nights at Disney’s Pop Century Resort and finally stayed in the 50s themed area for the first time! We made park reservations for Epcot to experience the 2021 Taste of International Food and Wine Festival on my actual birthday and the greatest gift of all… our friends joined us to eat and drink around the world!
Tiny Planet 360 camera captured these fun images!
We enjoyed food and drinks in Mexico, China, Italy, America, Japan, Greece, and Earth Eats, rode Spaceship Earth, and took in one of the final performances of Epcot’s current night show – Epcot Forever ending September 28, 2021. We took the Skyliner back to our resort, swam in the bowling pin-shaped pool to wash the incredibly hot day off of us, and turned in for a night of classic Mickey cartoons and much-needed rest!
If you have never been to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival – in our opinion it’s a must-do! Eat and drink across six continents at more than 20 different marketplaces and even more coming this fall. Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival happens from July – November each year – we find a new favorite every year! To see the full menu and venues for 2021 – check out this link!
The next morning we had breakfast in the Everything POP dining room and then we wandered around our resort, and the neighboring resort- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort before they headed back to real life and we headed to our next park reservation – Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It was so fun showing friends our favorite local escape- Disney! They might be hooked! 😉🤞
Next Mark and I hopped on a bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom where we took advantage of our Passholder Photo Pass and took some silly photos along the way. We enjoyed drinks in Africa at the Dawa Bar, browsed the incredible shops, another drink in Asia next to Mount Everest (the Beauty of not driving!), walked through one of my favorite areas- Dino land U.S.A. and rode Dinosaur for the first time! It was a whirlwind visit, super hot, and lots of fun but we got hungry so… back to Epcot we went!
Currently, as Passholders, we are able to park hop to other parks that we didn’t make a reservation for but only after 2 PM and assuming the park has availability. After 2 PM we “park hopped” back to Epcot where we rounded out the current Food and Wine stands that we were most interested in (more Countries open on October 1, 2021, and we will be going back!). We visited Australia, Hawaii, The Noodle Exchange, France, Tangierine Cafe, and The Donut Shop. We looped back around for one more El Tigre Margarita from Mexico then headed to the buses for the final stop of the day…
On to – Disney’s Magic Kingdom– it was the evening of Friday the 13th and all I wanted out of the entire day was to visit The Haunted Mansion and watch the night show – Happily Ever After before they retire it in September for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary. We accomplished them both and it was a fantastic night full of spooky Magic!
Our final day was spent at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Star Wars – Galaxy’s Edge where we had a dining reservation for Ogas Cantina and absolutely nothing else on the agenda! Once we arrived at the park we started the adventure like we always do – at the Sunshine Day Bar near The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for the Southside Fizz and Mark’s favorite Blackberry Moonshine Lemonade. Then we browsed some more shops (mostly for air conditioning lol) and headed to Star Wars – Galaxy’s Edge. We had about a 5-minute wait for our reservation after we checked in then we got a spot standing at the bar, the majority of it is standing room only with very few tables. This is our third visit to the cantina and the first time they strictly enforced the 45 minute time limit. But no worries on that, we have had plenty of time each visit to try several concoctions – the Jedi Mind Trick, The Outer Rim, Bespin Fizz, Fuzzy Tauntaun, Jet Juice, and the Yub Nub. All of them are seriously out of this world – zero puns intended;) This time around we ordered the Batuu Bits and it was… uhh.. interesting! Mark wasn’t super impressed but I enjoyed it – It’s an outer space take on chips and salsa and worth the try! If you run out of time and there’s still something you want to try, they make it super easy to take it to go!
So much fun! Have a great cocktail (the Blue Milk with Rum) and wander around and take in the awesome atmosphere of the park itself. There is so much to see, so many cool details, you can never see it all in one visit – and that is true for all of the parks. Hence why we keep going back! It’s so close to home yet makes you feel far far away for a day or two…or lucky this time -for three!